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Soyuz-2 (rocket)

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Title: Soyuz-2 (rocket)  
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Subject: Spaceflight/On This Day/Index, R-7 (rocket family), Soyuz (rocket family), 2011 in spaceflight, List of GLONASS satellites
Collection: R-7 (Rocket Family), Soyuz Program, Space Launch Vehicles of Russia
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Soyuz-2 (rocket)

Soyuz 2 (Soyuz 2.1a/2.1b/ST/STK)

A MetOp spacecraft ready for the launch atop a Soyuz-2.1a rocket.
Function Orbital carrier rocket
Manufacturer TsSKB-Progress
Country of origin Russia
Height 46.1 m (151.2 ft)
Diameter 2.95 m (9.67 ft)
Mass 305,000 kg (672,000 lb)
Stages 2 or 3
Payload to
7,800 kilograms (17,196 lb)
Payload to
800 km SSO (with Fregat)
4,500 kilograms (9,921 lb)
Payload to
GTO (from ELS)
3,250 kilograms (7,165 lb)
Associated rockets
Family R-7 (Soyuz)
Launch history
Status Active
Launch sites LC-31/6, Baikonur
LC-43, Plesetsk
ELS, Centre Spatial Guyanais
Total launches 41 (2.1a: 20, 2.1b: 21)
Successes 38 (2.1a: 19, 2.1b: 19)
Failures 2 (2.1a: 1, 2.1b: 1)
Partial failures 1 (2.1b)
First flight 2.1a: 8 November 2004
2.1b: 27 December 2006
Notable payloads COROT
Boosters (Stage 0)
No. boosters 4
Engines 1 RD-117
Thrust 1,021.097 kN
Specific impulse 310 sec
Burn time 120 seconds
Fuel LOX/RP-1
First stage
Engines 1 RD-118
Thrust 999.601 kN (224,719 LBf)
Specific impulse 311 sec
Burn time 286 seconds
Fuel LOX/RP-1
Second stage
Engines 1 RD-0124
Thrust 294 kN (66,093 LBf)
Specific impulse 359 sec
Burn time 300 seconds
Fuel LOX/RP-1
Third stage (Optional) - Fregat
Engines 1 S5.92
Thrust 19.6 kN (4,406 LBf)
Specific impulse 327 sec
Burn time 877 seconds
Fuel N2O4/UDMH
Soyuz-2, GRAU index 14A14, is the collective designation for the new version of the Russian Soyuz rocket. In its basic form, it is a three-stage carrier rocket for placing payloads into low Earth orbit. The first-stage boosters and two core stages feature uprated engines with improved injection systems, compared to the previous versions of the Soyuz. Digital flight control and telemetry systems allow the rocket to be launched from a fixed launch platform, whereas the launch platforms for earlier Soyuz rockets had to be rotated as the rocket could not perform a roll to change its heading in flight.

Soyuz-2 is often flown with an upper stage, which allows it to lift payloads into higher orbits, such as Molniya and geosynchronous orbits. The upper stage is equipped with independent flight control and telemetry systems from those used in the rest of the rocket. The NPO Lavochkin manufactured Fregat is the most commonly used upper stage.

Soyuz-2 rockets are currently launched from LC-31 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, and LC-43 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, launch facilities shared with earlier R-7 derived rockets including the Soyuz-U and Molniya. Commercial Soyuz-2 flights are contracted by Starsem, and have launched from LC-31 at Baikonur and ELS (l'Ensemble de Lancement Soyouz), which has been built at the Guiana Space Centre on the northern coast of South America. The Soyuz-2 is expected to be able to deliver 2.8-3.5 tonnes to GTO from this site.

The Soyuz-2 has replaced the Molniya-M[1] and is starting to replace the Soyuz-U and Soyuz-FG rockets which are currently in service alongside it, as they are expected to be phased out from 2014 onwards.[2][3]


  • Variants 1
    • Soyuz 2.1a 1.1
    • Soyuz 2.1b 1.2
    • Soyuz 2.1v 1.3
  • Suborbital test flight 2
  • Commercial launches 3
    • MetOp-A 3.1
  • Launch history 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Soyuz-2 family includes 2.1a, 2.1b and 2.1v. The first two variants are modifications to the Soyuz-U launcher. The latter is a "light" version without side boosters.

When launched from ELS site, the Soyuz-2 will always be mated with ST-type fairing. This version will be called Soyuz-ST or Soyuz-STK, where additional "K" indicates special measures taken for preparing and launching the rocket in hot and humid conditions.

Soyuz 2.1a

The 2.1a version includes conversion from analog to digital flight control system and uprated engines on the booster and the first stage with improved injection systems. The new digital flight control and telemetry systems allow the rocket to launch from a fixed rather than angled launch platform and adjust its heading in flight. A digital control system also enables the launch of larger commercial satellites with wider and longer payload fairings such as the ST-type fairing. These fairings introduce too much aerodynamic instability for the old analog system to handle. This stage continues to use the RD-0110 engine.

The 2.1a/ST version is sometimes called Soyuz ST-A. The first launch, from Guiana, (17 December 2011 for Pléiades-HR 1A, SSOT, ELISA (4 satellites)) was a success.

Soyuz 2.1b

The 2.1b version adds an upgraded engine (RD-0124) with improved performance to the second stage. First launch took place from Plesetsk Cosmodrome Site 43 on 26 July 2008 with classified military payload.[4]

The 2.1b/ST version is sometimes called Soyuz ST-B. The first launch, from Guiana, was a success (21 October 2011), for the first two Galileo IOV satellites.

Soyuz 2.1v

First draft of the 2.1v version was finished in 2009. It will be a "light" version of the Soyuz-2 without the side boosters (blocks B, V, G and D). Block A engine will be replaced by a more powerful one NK-33-1 and eventually the RD-193. The new launcher is able to deliver up to 2.8 tonnes in low Earth orbit.[5]

Suborbital test flight

On 8 November 2004, at 18:30 GMT (21:30 Moscow Time), the first Soyuz-2 carrier rocket, in the Soyuz-2.1a configuration, was launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia. The rocket followed a sub-orbital trajectory, with the third stage and boilerplate payload re-entering over the Pacific Ocean.

Commercial launches


The first attempt at launching a Soyuz-2 to orbit, with the MetOp-A satellite, occurred on 17 July 2006. It was scrubbed two hours before the launch by an automatic sequence, after the onboard computer failed to check the launch azimuth. Fuelling of the rocket was underway at the time, and all launch complex equipment and on-board preliminary checks had proceeded without incident. The rocket was left fuelled on the launch pad, for the next attempt on 18 July. Launch was eventually conducted on 19 October.

Launch history

Date Time (GMT) Configuration Launch site Result Payload Remarks
8 November 2004 18:30 Soyuz 2.1a LC-43 Plesetsk Success Zenit-8 (boilerplate) Suborbital test
19 October 2006 16:28 Soyuz 2.1a/ST Fregat LC-31/6 Baikonur Success MetOp A Weather satellite
24 December 2006 08:34 Soyuz 2.1a/S Fregat LC-43 Plesetsk Success Meridian 1 Communications satellite
27 December 2006 14:28 Soyuz 2.1b/SL Fregat LC-31 Baikonur Success COROT Astronomy satellite
26 July 2008 18:31 Soyuz 2.1b LC-43 Plesetsk Success[6] Kosmos 2441
Imaging reconnaissance satellite, failed to operate due to electrical fault
21 May 2009 21:53 Soyuz 2.1a/ Fregat LC-43 Plesetsk Failure[7] Meridian 2 Bulging of third-stage combustion chamber led to fuel leak and automatic deactivation, Communications satellite in unusable orbit after failed correction attempt
17 September 2009 15:55 Soyuz 2.1b/ Fregat LC-31/6 Baikonur Success Meteor M-1
Weather satellite
and small piggyback science satellites
19 October 2010 17:11 Soyuz 2.1a/ Fregat LC-31/6 Baikonur Success Globalstar-2 F1
(6 satellites)
Communications satellites
2 November 2010 00:59 Soyuz 2.1a/ Fregat LC-43/4 Plesetsk Success Meridian 3 Communications satellite
26 February 2011 03:07 Soyuz 2.1b/ Fregat LC-43/4 Plesetsk Success GLONASS-K Navigation satellite
4 May 2011 17:41 Soyuz 2.1a/ Fregat LC-43/4 Plesetsk Success Meridian 4 Communications satellite
13 July 2011 02:27 Soyuz 2.1a/ Fregat LC-31/6 Baikonur Success Globalstar-2 F2
(6 satellites)
Communications satellites
2 October 2011 20:15 Soyuz 2.1b/ Fregat LC-43/4 Plesetsk Success GLONASS-M Navigation satellite
21 October 2011 10:30 Soyuz STB/Fregat-MT ELS Kourou Success[8] Galileo IOV-1 & IOV-2 Navigation satellites
28 November 2011 08:25 Soyuz 2.1b/ Fregat LC-43 Plesetsk Success[9] GLONASS-M Navigation satellite
17 December 2011 02:03 Soyuz STA/Fregat-M ELS Kourou Success[10] Pleiades 1A
ELISA (4 satellites)
Imaging Satellite
Earth observation satellite for Chile
Electronic Intelligence Satellites
23 December 2011 12:08 Soyuz 2.1b/ Fregat LC-43 Plesetsk Failure[11] Meridian 5 Anomaly led to premature third-stage engine deactivation followed by an explosion which caused it to veer off course Communications satellite not deployed
28 December 2011 17:09 Soyuz 2.1a/ Fregat LC-31/6 Baikonur Success[12] Globalstar 2 (x6) Communications satellite
17 September 2012 16:28 Soyuz 2.1a/ST Fregat LC-31/6 Baikonur Success MetOp B Weather satellite
12 October 2012 18:15 Soyuz STB/Fregat-MT ELS Kourou Success[13] Galileo IOV-3 & IOV-4 Navigation satellites
14 November 2012 11:42 Soyuz 2.1a/ Fregat LC-43/4 Plesetsk Success Meridian 6 Communications satellite
2 December 2012 02:02 Soyuz STA/Fregat-M ELS Kourou Success[14] Pleiades 1B Imaging Satellite
6 February 2013 16:04:24 Soyuz 2.1a/ST Fregat LC-31/6 Baikonur Success Globalstar 2 (x6) Communications satellite
19 April 2013 10:00:00 Soyuz 2.1a LC-31/6 Baikonur Success Bion-M No.1
Dove 2
Beesat(2 and 3)
Biological Science
and small piggyback science satellites
26 April 2013 05:23:46 Soyuz 2.1b/ Fregat LC-43 Plesetsk Success[15] GLONASS-M Navigation satellite
7 June 2013 18:37:59 Soyuz 2.1b LC-43 Plesetsk Success[16] Kosmos 2486
Imaging reconnaissance satellite
25 June 2013 17:28:48 Soyuz 2.1b LC-31/6 Baikonur Success[17] Resurs-P No.1 Earth observation satellite
25 June 2013 19:27:03 Soyuz STB/Fregat-MT ELS Kourou Success[18] O3b-1
Communications satellites
19 December 2013 09:12:19 Soyuz STB/Fregat-MT ELS Kourou Success[19] Gaia Space observatory
23 March 2014 22:54:03 Soyuz 2.1b/ Fregat LC-43 Plesetsk Success[20] GLONASS-M Navigation satellite
3 April 2014 21:02:26 Soyuz STA/Fregat-M ELS Kourou Success[21] Sentinel-1A Earth observation
6 May 2014 13:49:35 Soyuz 2.1a LC-43 Plesetsk Success[22] Kosmos 2495
Film-return reconnaissance satellite
14 June 2014 17:16:48 Soyuz 2.1b/ Fregat LC-43/4 Plesetsk Success[23] Kosmos 2500
Navigation satellite
8 July 2014 15:58:28 Soyuz 2.1b/ Fregat LC-31/6 Baikonur Success[24] Meteor-M No.2
Relek (MKA-FKI (PN2))
SkySat 2
Weather satellite
and six secondary satellites
10 July 2014 18:55:56 Soyuz STB/Fregat-MT ELS Kourou Success[25] O3b-5
Communications satellites
18 July 2014 20:50:00 Soyuz 2.1a LC-31/6 Baikonur Success Foton-M No.4 Material Science satellite
22 August 2014 12:27:11 Soyuz STB/Fregat-MT ELS Kourou Partial failure[26] Galileo FOC-1 & FOC-2 Fregat upper stage guidance problem left the navigation satellites in an incorrect elliptical orbit. Traced to a flaw in the Fregat thermal design with a heat bridge from the coolant line to fuel line causing freezing of fuel line.
29 October 2014 07:09:43 Soyuz 2.1a LC-31/6 Baikonur Success Progress M-25M ISS Logistics
30 November 2014 21:52:26 Soyuz 2.1b/ Fregat LC-43/4 Plesetsk Success GLONASS-K Navigation satellite

See also


  1. ^ "Last launch of the Molniya-M on Sept 30th 2010.". Anatoly Zak. 2010-09-30. 
  2. ^ "Soyuz-2 to replace its predecessors.". Anatoly Zak. 2011-06-01. 
  3. ^ "Alexander Kirilin: "We are working on three rocket".". Volzkhskaya Kommuna. 2011-06-01. 
  4. ^ Stephen Clark (26 July 2008). "Soyuz 2-1b rocket launches classified military payload". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "Rus/Souyz-2 launch vehicle (in Russian)". 
  6. ^ "Soyuz 2-1b rocket launches classified military payload". Spaceflight Now. 2008-07-26. 
  7. ^ Zak, Anatoly. "The Meridian satellite (14F112)". RussianSpaceWeb. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  8. ^ Soyuz flight VS01 Lifts Off From French Guiana.
  9. ^ Glonass-M satellite launched into orbit.(Russian)
  10. ^ Six defense satellites launched by Soyuz rocket
  11. ^ Russian satellite crashes into Siberia after launch
  12. ^ "Globalstar satellites 'flawlessly' orbited by Soyuz". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  13. ^ Soyuz ST-B launches Galileo twins successfully to orbit.
  14. ^
  15. ^ Third Soyuz launch in a week bolsters Glonass system
  16. ^ Graham, William. "Russian spy satellite launched via Soyuz 2-1B". Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  17. ^ Graham, William. "Soyuz 2-1B successfully launches with Resurs-P". Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  18. ^ "“The journey begins” with a lift from Arianespace: O3b Networks’ first four satellites are in orbit".  
  19. ^ Soyuz ST-B successfully launches Gaia space observatory
  20. ^ Fresh Glonass navigation satellite launched by Russia
  21. ^ Graham, William; Bergin, Chris (2014-04-03). "Arianespace Soyuz ST-A launches Sentinel-1A mission". Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  22. ^ Soyuz-2-1A launches Kobal’t-M reconnaissance satellite
  23. ^ Fresh Glonass navigation satellite launched by Russia
  24. ^ Lift-off for British demo satellites
  25. ^ "Arianespace advances O3b Networks’ revolutionary vision with another Soyuz launch success".  
  26. ^ "Inquiry into Galileo launch anomaly to focus on Fregat". 

External links

  • Encyclopedia Astronautica article on Soyuz 2.1
  • Encyclopedia Astronautica article on Soyuz 2.1/Fregat
  • European Space Agency about Soyuz-ST (Russian name Soyuz-STK)
  • Soyuz User's Manual, from Starsem
  • Soyuz-2 launch vehicle, Russian Federal Space Agency
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